Ever wondered what a Mizzou team that was comprised of only Missouri kids would look like? Or wonder how good an only-Texan Mizzou squad would do? Well, you’re in luck! This offseason, the Rock M Masthead is assembling the best team of Mizzou players by state that they graduated high school from. We compiled a list of the significant starters on every team from the year 2000 on and voted on the best players at their position group in order to create three “All-State” Mizzou squads: Team Missouri, Team Texas, and Team USA. Over the next nine weeks you’ll read about these Mizzou Greats that hailed from the respective regions and, hopefully, come away impressed with just how good these fictional teams could actually be.
Missouri’s linebacking corps is flush with familiar names and a few legendary performers. It’s time to see how they stack up and who comes out on top!
I remember it vividly. Gary Pinkel was speaking as glowingly about Kentrell Brothers as I’ve ever heard him talk about a player during a press conference. Moments like this were fleeting with Pinkel. He was short with individual praise in this particular setting. He preferred to use his self-appointed phrases. “We do what we do,” for example, was a staple. Gabe DeArmond used to say he could tell you what Pinkel was going to say to a question before Pinkel ever answered.
But, with Brothers, it was different. And there was a reason for that.
Brothers was one of the most unique players I covered in my six years in Columbia. He was short (6-foot), he was slow (4.9 40-yard dash), and he wasn’t particularly explosive (28.5” vertical), but he was one of the most productive players in the country.
How the heck does that happen? Film study. Lots and lots of film study. He was notorious for his game-week preparation. His breakout in 2014 and 2015 was no surprise to anyone who knew the way he worked when the cameras were off.
The film study paid off to the tune of 120+ tackles in back-to-back seasons. Sean Weatherspoon is the only other Missouri defender in the last 20 years with 120 tackles in a season, and he also did it twice. His 152 tackles in 2015 led the country. He’s the only SEC player in the last 20 years to post a season of 150+ tackles and 10+ tackles-for-loss in a single season.
He was the first Tiger under Pinkel to post 7-straight games with 10+ tackles.
Brothers’ productivity resulted in a second team All-SEC finish in 2014 followed up by an All-SEC first team honoree in 2015.
He’s simply one of the best Missouri linebackers of this generation. His production speaks for itself, but let’s never forget the work Brothers put into his craft to make the production possible.